25k Mile 1987 Chevrolet Chevette CS

Chevettes were built for economy and meant to be driven until the wheels fell off. That’s what happened to most, so imagine our surprise when we stumbled upon this beauty! A Chevette seems like a strange one to stash away, but apparently the original owner kept it until 2016 when they passed away. A friend purchased it for their 14-year-old grandson but had a change of heart. The current owner then “bought this car on a whim simply because it was so nice”. The novelty must have worn off a bit though because they have listed here on eBay with a $1,995 starting bid and no reserve.

Unfortunately, the original owner did have the car resprayed in the early 2000s. That almost always makes me question low-mileage claims. The interior photos do help regain some of my confidence though. The seating surfaces look clean without any significant wear. Some closeups of the pedals would have been nice but aren’t always a definitive indication of mileage. This car is new enough to be in CarFax’s system, but the first mileage check listed was in 2003. So, unless there are some other documents or oil change stickers, there isn’t much proof that the odometer hasn’t turned over once. You may want to inspect this one in person and while you’re there, please throw out those aftermarket floor mats!

The engine bay looks clean enough. The stickers are still in place on the AC compressor, intake, and heater box. Those would probably be missing or at least faded on a 125k mile car. The CS was the top of the line model and ’87 was the last year for the Chevette, so if you are in the market, this is probably one of the better ones to look at. The automatic transmission is a drag just because a 5-speed would have made it possible to squeeze a little more oomph out of that 1.6 four-cylinder. The AC is a welcome site though for those of us in the hotter parts of the country.

Even if the odometer had turned over once, this would still have to qualify as one of the nicest Chevettes left in the world. The seller doesn’t seem to be hiding anything and they are offering it without a reserve. Even with a lower dollar purchase like this, it’s important to do your due diligence so you know what you are getting. The auction only has a couple of days left, so an inspection may not be feasible. If bidding stays low enough though it might be worth the gamble. The real question is, what would you do with this little Chevette once it’s in your garage?


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  1. CapNemo CapNemo

    The car having been repainted isn’t unfortunate at all. Paint quality at the time this car was built was not very good. Having the car repainted tells me that the owner cared enough about the car to do what was necessary to keep it in the best condition he could. All this is assuming it was repainted because of failure of the finish, and not collision repair.

    Like 13
  2. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    The coolest part of this car is the “Give A Hoot” keychain.

    Like 7
  3. rpol35

    Last year made and admittedly nice condition but run far away anyway.

    Like 4
  4. Mike Hawke

    I’d never seen “beauty” and Chevette in the same paragraph until now.

    Like 9
  5. CanuckCarGuy

    No one will ever want this…it’s a four door, otherwise there’d be a bidding war.

    Like 2
    • TimS Member

      Someone will, somewhere. Someone who had one like it in his or her family or just loves odd old cars. Not everyone believes in the “2 Doors Or Crush It” principle.

      Like 14
      • Joe

        I agree Tim S. I’ve always preferred four doors. It isn’t always about return on investment

        Like 9
      • CanuckCarGuy

        It was tongue in cheek on my part…poking the two door bear as such. 😁

        Like 4
    • James Schwartz

      It has a bid already. So clearly someone wants it. If it were within 100 miles of me, I’d pay 2k for it. It’s a nice example of a nearly extinct car. A car that was everywhere on the roads 30 years ago. I’ve owned over a dozen Chevettes through the years. A surprisingly reliable little machine. Small, a bit cramped, a bit rough riding, under-powered… Yes, all of the above. But a tough little bugger. Can take a lot of abuse and keep going.

      Seems like nearly every chevette that does pop up for sale is an automatic, even though there were probably more manuals built. I reckon it’s because as soon as a clutch needed replacement on a Chevette (a car that by that time would only be worth a few hundred dollars), it wasn’t worth it to replace the clutch.

      Like 2
  6. Greg Davis

    Super budget transportation when new and certainly not a joy to drive now. It’s not collectible. No super efficient engine. Not sure any purpose thus would have except maybe as a station car for the price.

  7. Superdessucke

    Change of heart? If they were going to give this to their teenage grandson and decided not to, it’s more accurate to say that they had a heart.

    Like 3
    • Mike

      A lot of young people are just not interested in driving. My co-worker’s son put off getting a license for years.

      Like 1
      • Superdessucke

        Yup, and an air conditioned automatic Chevette would probably not have helped increase interest in driving very much!

        Like 1
  8. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    The ebay ad is quite informative, and I got a chuckle out of a couple of the notes. Any of you notice the automotive “scenery” around “this little guy” (the seller’s loving description of the car)?

    Always fun to see common, throwaway cars in good shape after many years.

    Like 3
  9. glen

    If the mileage is true, this isn’t a bad price for a second car, or someone going to school.

  10. Ken Carney

    This would make a great addition to our
    family fleet. Almost bought a 2-door with
    a 4-speed new in ’87 for my late wife.
    Couldn’t get the deal done due to credit
    issues. My wife liked the manual over the automatic because she said the stick
    was more peppy when paired with the
    4-banger. Here you have a car that you could drive through the week and cruise
    at Oldtown on weekends. I’m sure that
    someone will buy it and give it a good
    home–just not me!

    Like 1
  11. Russ Johnson

    I had to drive an 86 Chevette for about 8 years. Part of that time I was in school ad not driving it that much, or it might have crapped out earlier. Sorry, but these were miserable cars. I can’t get nostalgic about them at all!

    Before the Chevette I got to drive a hand me down Datsun 1200. Great drivetrain and fun to drive, but as we all know, Japanese sheet metal of the era was atrocious!

    Like 1
  12. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. Given its age and condition, I think $1,995 is a good price. You can then afford to do an inspection on the car, make sure everything works like it should.

    Like 1
  13. scottymac
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      If only our Chevy Chevette was as attractive as that of the Vauxhall Chevette.

  14. David Frank

    The automatic is actually an advantage over a stick in this car. You don’t have to worry about the floor shifter coming loose at some awkard moment. The rental agency where I worked in LA LA land had a bunch of these. Even though it was stipulated they were for use around the greater LA area only, folks still brought them back and complained they wouldn’t make it over the Grapevine (5 north out of LA) and wanted us to pay the towing bill after they pooped out a few miles up the hill.

    Like 3
  15. dyno dan

    i’d put a 572 Hemi, 6speed getrag super shift, 8.75 Detroit locker rear, throw a 4wheel drive kit under it 15in. lift kit and nitrous with a blower! Super Chevette!
    the speedo goes 0-OH WOW in 2 seconds! asking 300K or best offer.

    Like 1
  16. JC

    Seller says top speed is “65-70” going down hill… factory specs were top speed of 96mph… Like the brand new black Chevette I looked at in 1987 that looked ok because of a gold stripe package and “rally wheels” though, I’d stay far away from it.

    Like 1
    • glen

      It depends on how tight you wind the rubber band!

      Like 1
  17. Little_Cars

    If I recall correctly, I wanna say the original sticker price for these was something like $1995. I remember thinking it odd that they sold with no trim rings and center caps. Or actual chrome plating of any kind.

    • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

      Wikipedia notes the super-stripper “Scooter” model had a base price of $2899 in 1976. This 1987 example would of course have been quite a bit more.

      For fun, $2899 in today’s dollars is about $13,000. That pretty much gives you the idea as to its place in the new car food chain.

      Like 1
  18. Lion

    We bought one of these new in 1968 for my wife to drive to work every day. Our eldest got it when she turned 16 and it went through our three kids. Failed once for our youngest when the battery died. Then it went through a neice and nephew and then my Brother-in-law wouldn’t return it like he promised cause he drove every day to work. When I finally got it back I used it as a winter beater on the Sask. prairies cause it started every time in freezing temps. Other than regular maintenance, no major problems until 2017 when I had to put about $800.00 into it. Had to sell when we moved but still going strong with over 160,000k, or 100,000miles.
    Most reliable car I ever owned. Oh, yeah, my daughter got a ticket for going over 120 kph, or 75 mph. It was fine on the highway.

    Like 3
    • Dan Bayne

      I had a brand new 87 Acadian 5 speed manual. We had it for running a short
      distance to town. It was identical to the Chevette. You got reliable transportation for the cost. We also had a early 80’s for same purpose
      that was great. I am sure that the 4 speed was right up to the 86 model.

      Like 1
      • Ort

        Well, not really. It sounded as if there was a problem up at the manifold. A godawful noise. It was also vastly underpowered and loud. 0-60 in under a week. I also didn’t have the money to fix it up. The only thing I could do was junk it, save money, and hope something better came along. I eventually got a ’76 Celica GT coupe. Loved that car so much.

      • James Schwartz

        The 4 speed manual was standard fare on all Chevette’s and T1000’s (and Acadians) through the entire run (1976-1987).
        A 5 speed became an option in 1983 (available earlier on the diesel version), and remained an option through 1987. Though the vast majority were Automatics or 4 speed manuals.

        Like 1
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        I remember seeing some while I was visiting Vancouver (BC) Canada one year. It looked like a Chevy Chevette, but it had a different logo on the front. I thought a Pontiac.

    • Little_Cars

      The super rare prototype from 1968. 51 years ago GM would have been putting ink to paper for the Vega design but the Chevette would have blown peoples’ minds in 1968… Hey, I like that blue Jeep dime store ride on the stand behind the Chevette in the first photo.

  19. Ort

    Someone gave me a chevette at 17, because I didn’t have a car. It was slower than the speed of smell and as soon as it limped home, I called the wrecker and got $40 for that hunk of crap. I’d buy this one just for the pleasure of blowing it up.

    Like 1
    • Ort

      No reason to be a d!ck. that car had no get up and go. I had traffic backed up behind me as far as I could see, and I was mashing the pedal to try and get it up to speed. It wouldn’t.
      It had no power to the engine. By the way it sounded, something was wrong up near the manifold. It was a dangerous car to be in. I had no money to fix it. What’s so difficult about understanding that? If you can’t say something nice, stay silent.

  20. John Smith

    I can walk faster than an air-conditioned Chevette at WOT.

    Like 1
  21. scottymac

    I learned to drive in a Morris Minor – most Harleys had bigger engines. You learn to stay off major streets and never go near interstates. At least you have better transportation than your bicycle, and you’re out of most of the weather. You pedal one of those or your Chevette to a job so you can earn enough to buy a better vehicle, or get the current one repaired by a professional. What was your fall back plan after you scrapped the Chevette?

    • Ort

      I borrowed my mom’s car after dropping her off at work. Then I would pick her up on the way home. I also borrowed my sister’s car for a month, as she wasn’t using it. My brother paid me back some money he borrowed (finally) and I was able to borrow some from my parents. I bought a 76 Celica GT and drove that for 2-3 years and it served me well.
      As I told Mr Congeniality, the chevette wasn’t safe to drive. I chose to continue to beg, borrow, and make do until I got something better. I then got 2 jobs, put myself through college, got a career in the O.R. and bought my first new car when I was 21-22. It all worked out.

      Like 1
  22. Lion

    Getting off track here but my first car that I licensed (Had a 1929 Plymouth roadster when I was 15 and never drove it) was a ’40 Ford sedan but we rode to school in our buddy’s 1950 or 51 Hillman. five guyes in that thing was a riot. $1.00 each for gas would fill the tank and go forever.

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